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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: NEUROCOGNITION/NEUROSCIENCE Title: Berry fruit and nuts: their role in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the aging brain

item Miller, Marshall -
item Shukitt-Hale, Barbara
item Joseph, James

Submitted to: Phytochemicals: Health Promotion and Therapeutic Potential
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: August 14, 2012
Publication Date: September 20, 2012
Citation: Miller, M.G., Shukitt Hale, B., Joseph, J.A. 2012. Berry fruit and nuts: their role in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the aging brain. In: Carkeet, C., Grann, K., Randolph, R. K., Venzon, D.S., Izzy, S. Phytochemicals: Health Promotion and Therapeutic Potential. CRC Press. p. 181-204.

Technical Abstract: Berry fruits and nuts are nutrient dense and contain a variety of bioactive phytochemicals, specifically polyphenols. A growing body of literature describes pre-clinical research, using both in vitro and in vivo techniques, which show beneficial effects of nut and berry consumption on the brain in the context of aging. These effects include reductions in oxidative stress and inflammatory mediators, reductions in cellular stress signaling, and improvements in behavioral measures of cognition and mobility in animal models. Furthermore, initial clinical studies demonstrate cognitive enhancement associated with as little as three months of regular berry consumption among older adults exhibiting age-related cognitive decline. While dementia is currently incurable, nutritional intervention, particularly during middle years, may be effective in forestalling the neurological changes associated with aging. Given the high individual and societal costs associated with dementia, berries and nuts are “easy pills to swallow.”

Last Modified: 8/25/2016